Difference between hardware and software

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Computer hardware refers to physical devices that can be touched, while software is a collection of instructions and code that cannot be touched. Examples of hardware include the computer monitor and mouse, while examples of software include the operating system and Internet browser. A computer can run without software, but it may encounter errors or sit at a black screen. However, a computer cannot function properly without essential hardware components such as a disk drive, display, keyboard, memory, motherboard, processor, power supply, and video card. Additional hardware such as a CD-ROM or sound card is not necessary, but can expand the computer’s capabilities.

Table of Content

Computer hardware consists of tangible devices, while software is a compilation of intangible instructions and code. Examples of hardware encompass the computer monitor and mouse currently in use. Conversely, software encompasses the internet browser utilized to access this page as well as the operating system it operates on.

Is it possible for a computer to operate without software?

Even if a computer lacks software, it will display an error message or stay on a black screen if no operating system or interpreter is found. However, by adding programs after installing the operating system, the computer acquires more functions. For example, while not mandatory, a word processor allows for the creation of documents and letters.

Is it possible for a computer to function without any hardware?

The hardware requirements for a computer setup can differ based on the individual’s needs, but some essential components are necessary for proper functioning. These components include a disk drive (such as a hard drive), display, keyboard, memory, motherboard, processor, power supply, and video card. If any of these devices are absent or encounter problems, the computer will experience errors or fail to start. While not obligatory, additional hardware like a disc drive (e.g., CD-ROM or DVD drive), modem, mouse, network card, printer, sound card and speakers can enhance the capabilities of the computer.

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Difference between hardware and software. (2016, Jun 20). Retrieved from


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